By: IOL Motoring Staff
Geneva Motor Show - Given the cheery reception received by Nissan's bold Juke in the three years since it hit the scene, Nissan opted for a “why fix what ain't broke” approach to mid-life upgrade.
Yet Nissan is still calling this a significant revision because in addition to the subtle styling changes at the front and rear, new features and a wide-ranging personalization programme, the cheeky little crossover gets some new engines.
At the bottom of the European line-up, the normally aspirated 1.6-litre motor makes way for a 1.2-litre DIG-T direct injection turbopetrol that produces 85kW and 190Nm. Mated to an idle-stop gizmo, the Juke 1.2T sips a claimed 5.5 l/100km on the combined cycle.
The frugal, 81kW 1.5 dCi turbodiesel continues unchanged while the 140kW 1.6 DIG-T turbopetrol engine has been tinkered with to produce more low-end torque below 2000rpm.
Yet the real rebel in the range is the Nismo RS. Its version of Nissan’s 1.6 DIG-T gets a power boost to deliver 160kW and 280Nm. To keep that extra shove in check, front-wheel drive RS models gain a limited slip diff. Naturally, that's not required in the all-wheel drive model.
In addition to 18-inch rims and an aerodynamic exterior kit, the Nismo RS stands apart from humbler Jukes with RS badges, red brake callipers and (optional) Recaro 'sports bucket' seats.
Ordinary Juke models, right down to the 1.2T, also receive some extra pizzazz in the form of various interior personalisation packs in which the centre console, door trims and other parts can be coloured red, white, black or bright yellow.
The Juke hasn't forgotten more pragmatic needs though and 2014 front-wheel drive models have a redesigned boot area that increases luggage space by 40 percent to 354 litres.